The chief executive of CDI says she tells her team “that I expect them to be very honest, brutally honest with me, but in a respectful way.”
(From the article): Q. Tell me about some aspects of your leadership style today.
A. I tell my team that I expect them to be very honest, brutally honest with me, but in a respectful way. I like to have strong people around me, and they have to be very open and very honest and very candid. So you can’t just tell me once and assume that I grasp it.
If it’s critical and important, you’ve got to come back, you’ve got to tell me, you’ve got to come into my office and shut the door. I don’t care if you have to pound your fists on the table and say, “Paulett, I don’t think you’re comprehending it, I want your full attention, listen to me, this is what I am telling you.” We, at a minimum, need to discuss it or whatever the situation is.
And so I encourage them to be very aggressive with me because I work and I run at a fast pace, and sometimes you have to stop and take five minutes. You’ve got to invite them in and sit down and say: “O.K., what are the issues? You’ve got my full attention. Let’s talk about it.”
An insightful piece on how technology is changing how we are connecting with others.
(From the article): It is harder to intervene than not to, but it is vastly harder to choose to do either than to retreat into the scrolling names of one’s contact list, or whatever one’s favorite iDistraction happens to be. Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat. The phone didn’t make me avoid the human connection, but it did make ignoring her easier in that moment, and more likely, by comfortably encouraging me to forget my choice to do so. My daily use of technological communication has been shaping me into someone more likely to forget others. The flow of water carves rock, a little bit at a time. And our personhood is carved, too, by the flow of our habits.
(From the article): You’re not connecting at the relationship level. This is one of the biggest obstacles I see getting in the way of managers and executives getting the result they want. They get so focused on the task to be accomplished, and so focused on all they have to do, they end up ignoring the human element of leadership and organizational effectiveness.
They come across as very impersonal, self-focused, and disinterested in others. Since people tend to care about people who care about them, these leaders end up creating situations where others don’t care about what they want, because their “non-followers” don’t feel like the leader cares about them.
Are you being too “all business” and impersonal? Do you need to connect more “person to person” in your interactions?
(From the article): Next time you have the opportunity to speak publicly and find yourself getting nervous, try refocusing on the needs of your audience. Give them the gifts they need to succeed. It will make a difference. For you and for them.
"It turns out that every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a "habit loop," which is a three-part process. First, there's a cue, or trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and let a behavior unfold.
"Then there's the routine, which is the behavior itself," Duhigg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "That's what we think about when we think about habits."
"The third step, he says, is the reward: something that your brain likes that helps it remember the "habit loop" in the future."
"What we know from lab studies is that it's never too late to break a habit. Habits are malleable throughout your entire life. But we also know that the best way to change a habit is to understand its structure — that once you tell people about the cue and the reward and you force them to recognize what those factors are in a behavior, it becomes much, much easier to change."
I knew, before starting to write this post, what we all know about Henry Ford: founder of Ford Motor F +1.73%Company, seminal proponent of mass production in the form of the assembly line, creator of the Model T and author of the tart line, “you can have it in any color you want, as long as it is black.” Then one of my readers, Sagar Adhikari, shared a great Henry Ford quote in a comment he made on one of my posts. I was intrigued, and started doing a bit of research.
I had the great good fortune of having breakfast this morning with Danny Meyer, longtime friend and client, at Maialino, one of his USHG (Union Square Hospitality Group) restaurants. It was a wide-ranging conversation, but it kept coming back to two core things: beauty and utility.
(From the article): If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
...Just for today, try applying this principle to the things in your life over which you have some control. How can you make sure that your home, your relationships, your business, and your life contain mostly interactions, circumstances and objects that are both useful and beautiful?
“Great leadership is like great music…it draws you in…stays with you. Leaving an imprint that lingers on…”
(From the article): No matter how much you learn…leadership will always remain a journey. A journey of becoming…learning and leading. A never ending cycle. Learn and lead. Learn and lead. Learn and lead. Constantly working to master your craft…
Don't think of thought leadership as rocket science — think of it as rocket fuel. Continue reading →
(From the article): Don’t think of thought leadership as rocket science — think of it as rocket fuel. Positioning yourself, your team, and your company as top thinkers in a given space is an effective way to build credibility and grow your brand. Be it a keynote speech by your CEO, a contributed article by your head of business development, or a panel spot for your community manager — thought leadership opportunities are a reliably lean way to transform your team into rockstars. Keep these five keys in mind as you begin your thinking journey:...
It's safe to say most people are addicted to meetings. It doesn't quite make sense, especially from a boss's perspective. Meetings are expensive. The hours your employees spend in meetings are hours when they're not working.
A helpful look at meetings - and how to make them more productive.
(From the article): The Centre for Economics and Business Research reported that office workers spend an average of four hours per week in meetings. These same workers reported feeling like half of that time is wasted. Additionally, a Salary.com survey reported 47 percent of workers say meetings are the No. 1 time-waster at the office.
Obviously, not all meetings are unnecessary and unproductive. I spoke with project management and productivity expert Tony Wong to find out how to transform meetings and increase productivity. Here are his tips:
We will all experience setbacks from time to time. It is the nature of things. It is what we do when we experience setbacks that will define us.
(From the article): Pursuing success is like riding a horse; if you get thrown off, you've got to get right back on it. Rather than dwell on the setback, take some action--right now--that will continue your momentum.
It's time to face the music as a manager: You don’t always have all of the right answers. Your “it’s my way or the highway” approach to management isn’t going to encourage anyone to help you in your problem solving endeavors.
(From the Article): Managers give answers, leaders ask questions. There’s nothing certain to turn your employees against you faster than shouting orders at them. Why not spare yourself the impending resentment and simply ask your employees this: “What would you do?” or “What do you think of this idea?” Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process will not only transform what could have been an order into something more easily swallowed--it also inspires creativity, motivation, and autonomy.
How unfortunate that our popular ideas of what a good leader should be are so often grandiose. Through current media, television, and movies, we expect perfection; a leader is strong, fearless and flawless. If we believe that myth, they should be superheroes, royalty and saviors all rolled into one.
So we become disappointed when our leaders are only human after all. Could it be that we expect too much? If you consider some recent examples of leaders who’ve fallen from grace, you might find that they made very human mistakes; the kind we all make. That isn’t an excuse for bad behaviors; it’s simply a reality that nobody is perfect.
You work hard, so you should learn to reward yourself, and what better reward can you give yourself than setting aside some of today’s funds for the rainy day? Saving simply means you see yourself as the No. 1 person you have to take care of. However, your biggest barrier to maintaining a healthy savings balance is your own self; setting the funds aside is not half as difficult as leaving the funds alone to grow. You have to be disciplined, learn to prioritize, delay self-gratification and, most importantly, separate your wants from your needs in order to let your savings exist when you actually plan and need them.
(From the article): Make cultural fit top experience when hiring. Increasing employee retention will mean improving hiring efforts. Employers should focus their efforts on acquiring candidates who are not just skilled for the position, but are also a strong cultural fit for the company. Behavior-based screening and interviewing will help to make best long-term hires. – Nathan Parcells, InternMatch
Remember when resumes were one-page, black and white documents you handed to someone in person? Well, those days are long gone and if you want to stand out in today’s job market, you need to make sure your resume is both modern and attractive.
In life and in leadership, we are constantly dealing with duality. To learn, we need to be curious. To lead, we need to have followers. To be strong, we need to be vulnerable. To give, we need to receive.
(From the article): If a leader is perceived as seriously deficient in a leadership competency that’s critical to their role, he or she needs to develop that skill. Otherwise this is a “towering weakness” that others can’t see past to his or her strengths.